Justin Fenchel wanted an alternative to thirty packs of beer and boxed wine when he went to parties and events, so he invented Beat Box Beverages – “mixed drinks” in a box. Fenchel, along with COO Aimey Steadman and co-founder Brad Schulz, hopes the Sharks invest in the fledgling beverage company in episode 604.
Calling Beat Box Beverages mixed drinks is a bit of a stretch: the product is actually 22 proof orange wine that's flavored to taste like mixed drinks. With flavors like Blue Razzberry Lemonade, Cranberry Limeade, Box A’Rita, and Texas Tea (available in Texas only), most people won't know the difference. What Beat Box Beverages wants to do is provide a high volume, flavorful alternative party beverage that's easily transported and that the whole gang will like. With 30 5 ounce servings in each box, there's sure to be much merriment when people “slap the bag” and down a few drinks.
Fenchel and company wanted a hip brand that speaks to millennials who want to get out and party down. At twenty bucks a box, it's a decent party value, all they need to do is take Beat Box beverages national. It's only available in Texas now, but they should be shipping to states that allow it (alas Massachusetts doesn't allow wine to be shipped) soon. The challenge of licensing an alcoholic beverage for sale is each state requires separate licensing review; that takes time and money.
My Take on Beat Box Beverages
I like to drink, but my preferences lean more to beer and the occasional martini. I like a nice glass of wine with dinner, too. I'd probably try Beat Box Beverages for an alternative at a big party, but I don't think it would find a home near the Guinness in my fridge on a regular basis.
My college age kids would probably like it. Now that they're old enough to drink, they've expressed a fondness for fruity mixed drinks. Beat Box Beverages would be right up their alley. That's what Fenchel wants – the younger generation as his customers. So far, in Texas at least, he appears to be having success reaching this demographic. If he can cut a deal with a Shark, Beat Box Beverages will find its way onto college campuses, parties, and music festivals nationwide.
Will the Sharks Drink the Kool-Aid and Slap the Bag?
Alcohol is a tricky sell in the Shark Tank. Copa Di Vino, famous for its owner James Martin turning the Sharks down twice, sells millions of dollars of his wine-by-the-glass-to-go each year. Jayla Siciliano, who did a deal in season five with Mark Cuban for Bon Affair – a wine spritzer – is having some success and making inroads in the national market. What makes Beat Box Beverages different from those two businesses is the large volume container and the funky flavors.
The Sharks know how hard it is to take a wine product, however it's packaged and marketed, to the national stage. Fenchel and company will have to have a perfect pitch, a good valuation, and strong sales to get the Sharks interested. Mark, since he just invested in Bon Affair last year, could get involved since he's been down this road before and Beat Box Beverages goes after a different demographic. I can't see Lori going for this; she's more product centric. Barbara could make a play since she's made no secret that she wants to diversify her “Shark Tank portfolio.” He'll also like the hipness of the product.
Mr. Wonderful is the wine Shark. I can almost hear him calling Beat Box Beverages “crap in a box.” He probably wont like the drink, but if the numbers are right, he could bring value to the table with his knowledge of the industry. Robert likes to go with “cool” products, so he could take a flyer, too.
I'm not sure if Beat Box Beverages gets a deal, but they're sure to make an impression in the Shark Tank.